Mon 29 Jun 2009 10:11
(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) will not give the public a week to review the final text of a health-care reform bill before it is voted on later this year.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) has also declined to commit to giving the public a week to read and consider the final health-care bill.
At her press briefing on Thursday, Pelosi was asked whether the health-care bill would be handled differently than the stimulus bill, which came up in February. The 1,071-page final text of that bill was posted on the House Appropriations Committee’s Web site late on a Thursday night and then voted on the next day.
“When the stimulus bill came out earlier this year, members and citizens had less than two days to review the final version that came out of the conference committee before it was voted on,” CNSNews.com asked Pelosi on Thursday. “Will you commit to giving Americans at least a week to review the full conference version of the health care bill before it is voted on? And also will you commit to submitting the final version to the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] so that they can report the cost to the public?”
Pelosi would not commit to giving the public a week to review the bill, and did not respond to the question of having the CBO report on the cost of the final bill.
“Well, we will abide by the regular order. You heard the question,” she said. “It was about having the health care bill out there a week in advance. We will have the regular order in terms of the appropriate amount of time, 48 hours in advance for amendments before you file the bill, another day before you can take up the bill.
“But this bill is something that has been unfolding before the American people for a long time now. The areas of controversy are well known,” said Pelosi.
“The issue of a public option is probably the most significant debate that we will have in the House on the legislation, as I see it now. But the bill will come forth under the regular order, and that’s why the three chairmen put out the draft now,” she said. “They put out some principles earlier on. The President put out his principles. We had a month before the Memorial Day break for everyone to see what was happening there to take ideas from our members.
“So it was in the public domain, but not as a bill,” said Pelosi, continuing to respond to the question of whether she would give the public a week to review the final bill. “Now they have put out this draft which has been well received, and I’m very proud of the work. It’s a well managed approach to how we go forward. And when we are ready with a draft then we will put that forth, but as I say, it will be under the regular order.”
The three House committees working on the health-care plan have released what they call a “discussion draft” of the legislation. It is 850 pages long.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has produced its own 615-page draft that is missing key sections, including the section that would explain the “public option”—or government-run health insurance organization.
After the House and Senate actually pass bills, the two versions of the legislation will go to a House-Senate conference committee where they will be reconciled and where entirely new provisions can be added. The final version of the bill that emerges from this conference committee will be voted on by both houses, and if passed, sent to the president for his signature before it can become law.
This final bill is likely to be well over 1,000 pages long and will include mandates and regulations that could permanently transform the U.S. health care system.
Like Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also said last week that he would not commit to giving the public a week to review the final text of the health-care bill.
“We are going to follow the rules and do the best we can so that the new rules we have for transparency will be effective,” Reid said at his own Thursday news briefing when asked about giving the public a week to read the final health-care bill.
“We have been putting things online. We’re doing so much more than we did just a year or two ago, so I think there’s no secrets, we try to be as upfront as we can, give everyone as much opportunity as we can to move forward,” he said.
House and Senate rules differ slightly, but basically the House allows a vote three calendar days after the conference committee’s report is posted and the Senate allows a vote after 48 hours.
House Rule XIII, section 4. (a)(1), says: “. . . it shall not be in order to consider in the House a measure or matter reported by a committee until the third calendar day (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays except when the House is in session on such a day) on which each report of a committee on that measure or matter has been available to Members, Delegates, and the Resident Commissioner.”
Senate rules allow a voted 48 hours after the conference committee version of the bill has been posted.
Senate Rule XXVIII, Section 9. (a)(1) says: “It shall not be in order to vote on the adoption of a report of a committee of conference unless such report has been available to Members and to the general public for at least 48 hours before such vote.”
In February, lawmakers had less than 48 hours to review the final conference report on the economic stimulus bill before voting for it.
President Obama is pushing for both houses of Congress to vote on health-care legislation before they take a recess in August. He wants the bill on his desk by October. Republicans argue that such a sweeping reform should not be rushed.
“This is much more serious than the rushed and ill-conceived stimulus legislation,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said last week. “If we fail to do this the right way in order to simply check the health reform box, we will all suffer the consequences for the rest of our lives.”
Mon 29 Jun 2009 09:46
MalcontentCategories: All Posts
, Murderous Muslims No Comment
The Religion of Peace
On Tuesday, June 30, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C., to announce the launch of a major campaign to distribute free copies of the Quran, Islam’s revealed text, to 100,000 local, state and national leaders.
WHAT: CAIR News Conference to Announce Launch of "Share the Quran" Campaign
WHEN: Tuesday, June 30, 11 a.m.
WHERE: CAIR National Headquarters, 453 New Jersey Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787, 202-744-7726
CAIR’s "Share the Quran" educational campaign was prompted by President Obama’s recent address to Muslims worldwide in which he quoted from that holy text.
In the multi-year initiative, American Muslims will sponsor Qurans for distribution to governors, state attorneys general, educators, law enforcement officials, state and national legislators, local elected and public officials, media professionals, and other local or national leaders who shape public opinion or determine policy.
"Through this ground-breaking outreach initiative, we hope not only to educate policy-makers and opinion leaders about Islam, but also to provide an opportunity for American Muslims to reach out to their fellow citizens of other faiths," said CAIR Board Chairman State Sen. Larry Shaw (NC).
The "Share the Quran" initiative is an outgrowth of CAIR’s successful "Explore the Quran" campaign and is part of the celebration of the Washington-based council’s 15th anniversary. CAIR was founded in June of 1994.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
Information on terrorist CAIR
Mon 29 Jun 2009 09:34
During the earliest days of the scandal-ridden Bill Clinton presidency, then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton began to feel restless in her role as the President’s spouse. She yearned for an assignment that would transcend talking about her favorite chocolate-chip-cookie recipes with her worshipful lackeys in the mainstream media.
Hillary got her wish when her husband installed her at the helm of the 500-member Health Care Task Force which tried, in secret meetings and by stealth, to socialize medical care in the United States. But she was the wrong person to put in charge of that monstrously bad idea, and, fortunately for the country, it failed.
That same monstrously bad idea, however, is now being advanced by our new First Lady, Michelle Obama, who presumably would be oh-so-proud of her country—perhaps for the second time in her adult life—if a government-run healthcare system were to be implemented.
Mrs. Obama, like Hillary before her, is unfulfilled by her role as fashion icon and White House “gardening expert.” Reports surfaced last week that Michelle, suffering from a malady which the Sunday Times has dubbed “Hillary-itis,” is actively promoting her husband’s quest to socialize, overnight, one-sixth of the American economy. “More and more people are ready for this kind of reform,” she assures us.
Mrs. Obama favors the models of Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries where, all too often, the wait for an emergency medical procedure is longer than the lifespan of the patient on the waiting list. She aims to scrap the American system, which annually draws tens of thousands of foreigners seeking treatments and medications they cannot obtain in their homelands; which gives cancer patients the priceless gift of a better survival rate for 13 of the 16 most common cancers; and which produces fully 90 percent of the world’s cutting-edge, life-saving drugs.
Misinformed critics commonly charge that the infant mortality rate in America is higher than in numerous other nations. A closer inspection of the facts, however, reveals that this is only because the definition of “live births” in other nations differs markedly from the definition in the U.S.—thereby making the comparisons utterly invalid.
In Switzerland, for instance, a newborn infant must be at least 30 centimeters long in order to be classified as “living.” In France and Belgium, babies born prior to 26 weeks gestation are automatically registered as “dead”—even if they go on to survive for several hours, days, or even weeks before ultimately dying. And when they do eventually die, they do not inflate infant-mortality rates because they were never technically considered “alive.”
In the U.S., by contrast, a “live birth” is any infant that “breathes or shows any other evidence of life such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles”—regardless of the infant’s size or prematurity. If such high-risk American infants ultimately die, they do inflate our country’s infant-mortality statistics.
It’s apples and oranges, get it?
But why should a pair of political hacks like Michelle and Barack Obama care about any of this? Crusaders need crusades, even if they have to justify them, ad infinitum, with half-truths, distortions, misrepresentations, and outright lies.
Mon 29 Jun 2009 09:21
By Steve Doughty
At least 85 Islamic sharia courts are operating in Britain, a study claimed yesterday.
The astonishing figure is 17 times higher than previously accepted.
The tribunals, working mainly from mosques, settle financial and family disputes according to religious principles. They lay down judgments which can be given full legal status if approved in national law courts.
Disputes: Islamic leaders rule on disagreements
However, they operate behind doors that are closed to independent observers and their decisions are likely to be unfair to women and backed by intimidation, a report by independent think-tank Civitas said.
Commentators on the influence of sharia law often count only the five courts in London, Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham and Nuneaton that are run by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, a body whose rulings are enforced through the state courts under the 1996 Arbitration Act.
But the study by academic and Islamic specialist Denis MacEoin estimates there are at least 85 working tribunals.
The spread of sharia law has become increasingly controversial since its role was backed last year by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice who stepped down last October.
Dr Williams said a recognised role for sharia law seemed ‘unavoidable’ and Lord Phillips said there was no reason why decisions made on sharia principles should not be recognised by the national courts.
But the Civitas report said the principles on which sharia courts work are indicated by the fatwas – religious decrees – set out on websites run by British mosques.
Controversial comments: Dr Rowan Williams said a recognised role for sharia law seemed ‘unavoidable’
Mr MacEoin said: ‘Among the rulings we find some that advise illegal actions and others that transgress human rights standards as applied by British courts.’
Examples set out in his study include a ruling that no Muslim woman may marry a non-Muslim man unless he converts to Islam and that any children of a woman who does should be taken from her until she marries a Muslim.
Further rulings, according to the report, approve polygamous marriage and enforce a woman’s duty to have sex with her husband on his demand.
The report added: ‘The fact that so many sharia rulings in Britain relate to cases concerning divorce and custody of children is of particular concern, as women are not equal in sharia law, and sharia contains no specific commitment to the best interests of the child that is fundamental to family law in the UK.
‘Under sharia, a male child belongs to the father after the age of seven, regardless of circumstances.’
It said: ‘Sharia courts operating in Britain may be handing down rulings that are inappropriate to this country because they are linked to elements in Islamic law that are seriously out of step with trends in Western legislation.’
The study pointed out that the House of Lords ruled in a child custody case last year that the sharia rules on the matter were ‘arbitrary and discriminatory’.
And a 2003 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg said it was ‘difficult to declare one’s respect for democracy and human rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverges from Convention values.’
However last year Justice Minister Bridget Prentice told MPs that ‘if, in a family dispute …the parties to a judgment in a sharia council wish to have this recognised by English authorities, they are at liberty to draft a consent order embodying the terms of the agreement and submit it to an English court.
‘This allows judges to scrutinise it to ensure it complies with English legal tenets.’
Decisions from sharia tribunals can be presented to a family court judge for approval with no more detail than is necessary to complete a two page form.
The sharia courts in the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal are recognised as courts under the Arbitration Act. This law, which covers Jewish Beth Din courts, gives legal powers to a tribunal if all parties involved accept its authority.
The Civitas study said the Islamic courts should no longer be recognised under British law.
Its director Dr David Green said: ‘The reality is that for many Muslims, sharia courts are in practice part of an institutionalised atmosphere of intimidation, backed by the ultimate sanction of a death threat.’
The Muslim Council in Britain condemned the study for ‘ stirring up hatred’.
A spokesman said: ‘Sharia councils are perfectly legitimate. There is no evidence they are intimidating or discriminatory against women. The system is purely voluntary so if people don’t like it they can go elsewhere.’
Patrick Mercer, Tory MP for Newark and chairman of the Commons counter-terrorism sub committee, said: ‘We have an established law of the land and a judiciary. Anything that operates otside that system must be viewed with great caution.
‘If crimes are going unreported to police, this will erode the authority of those who have to enforce our law. In a sovereign state there must be one law, and one law only.’
Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, said: ‘Everyone should be deeply concerned about the extent of these courts.
‘They do entrench division in society, and do nothing to entrench integration or community cohesion. It leads to a segregated society.
‘There should be one law, and that should be British law. We can’t have a situation where people can choose which system of law they follow and which they do not.
‘We can’t have a situation where people choose the system of law which they feel gives them the best outcome. Everyone should equal under one law.’
Veteran Tory Lord Tebbit provoked anger among Muslims earlier this month by comparing Islamic sharia courts to gangsters.
He likened the tribunals to the ‘system of arbitration of disputes that was run by the Kray brothers’.
Lord Tebbit told the Lords: ‘Are you not aware that there is extreme pressure put upon vulnerable women to go through a form of arbitration that results in them being virtually precluded from access to British law?’
Warning that women could be shut out from the protection of the law, he asked Justice Minister Lord Bach: ‘That is a difficult matter, I know, but how do you think we can help those who are put in that position?’
Mon 29 Jun 2009 08:49
Gregory D. Lee
President Barack Obama’s Special Representative on Afghan and Pakistani Affairs, Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, has decided that the feelings of Afghan poppy growers are more important than eliminating opium production that generates essential revenue to the Taliban to buy arms to kill American and NATO troops.
Ambassador Holbrook was quoted in the Washington Post saying, “Afghans are smart farmers . . . they just need the right kind of help from us.” I would modify his sentence to “Afghans are smart drug traffickers” . . .
Ambassador Holbrooke is the former Assistant Secretary of State under both the Carter and Clinton Administrations, and an advisor for the failed John Kerry campaign. He guided President Carter after the disastrous Iranian takeover of our embassy in Iran in 1979, which sparked the worldwide radical Islamic revolution against the West. Despite having one dismal diplomatic failure after another, President Obama has given him carte blanche to set administration policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
U.S military leadership initially felt that opium eradication was a law-enforcement, not military, mission. They correctly viewed themselves as soldiers, and not drug agents. Now they realize that the proceeds from opium production are the primary source of revenue for the Taliban to pay and equip its members. Just as progress is being made on that front, Ambassador Holbrooke steps in to stop it. He is more concerned with Afghan “farmers,” also known as drug conspirators, getting upset over U.S. and NATO forces eradicating their profitable poppy cultivation. Why isn’t he more concerned about the health and welfare of Americans and Europeans?
What escapes Ambassador Holbrooke is that these so-called Afghan “farmers” grow opium poppies because it is the biggest cash crop they can produce. They supply the many organized drug traffickers in the area with the essential ingredient of heroin. They have produced opium for centuries with few to no restrictions by the government, whose officials, even at the highest levels, receive regular bribe payments to maintain the status quo.
These growers don’t care who is in charge of Afghanistan. They just want to make as much money as they can. Unlike South American cocoa growers, who for centuries have produced the essential ingredient of cocaine as part of their culture to ward off high altitude sickness, Afghan opium poppy growers are different. They are in it strictly for the money and an opportunity to kill infidels. Ambassador Holbrooke’s severely flawed Afghan strategy is akin to Gen. Eisenhower scrubbing the D-Day invasion because French wine makers might side with the Nazis if their vineyards are trampled in the ruckus.
Stopping poppy cultivation is a necessity, and halting its eradication will only prolong the war and encourage Afghan farmers to produce even more. If we bombed German factories to halt the production of bombs and planes during World War II, why shouldn’t we eradicate the primary source of the Taliban’s revenue to continue its war efforts?
Surely Ambassador Holbrooke must realize that Afghanistan is the largest producer of opium in the world. He must know that Western Europe is the biggest consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, which floods its streets. And he must realize that upwards of 15 percent of heroin consumed in the U.S. originates from Afghanistan. Despite this, he wants to allow opium production to continue so the few “farmers” (in proportion to the total population), will not side with the Taliban?
NEWS FLASH: Afghan poppy growers already side with the Taliban and will grow something else only when they are forced to.
Ambassador Holbrooke’s plan to spend more of your tax money to drill wells and build roads will only result in Afghanistan’s opium growers getting a more robust illicit crop easily to market. Rather than forcing these criminals to stop this evil practice and produce legitimate export crops, Ambassador Holbrooke chooses to facilitate their illicit activities.
So long as opium production is tied directly to funding the Taliban’s and al Qaeda’s war efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, these people must to be held accountable for their role in the international drug trade.
Allowing poppy cultivation to continue unchecked demonstrates the priorities of Ambassador Holbrook and the Obama Administration.
Mon 29 Jun 2009 08:41
T2MCategories: All Posts
, Edumication No Comment
Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Horne v. Flores drives another nail into the coffin of bilingual education, the teaching theory in which immigrant children are segregated by language and taught primarily in their native language while being taught English on the side.
Bilingual education is a documented failure in school systems across the country, and the 5-4 decision, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., involving Arizona’s Nogales Unified School District emphasizes this failure with a stark conclusion: Teach English. Specifically, the high court recognizes the demonstrated effectiveness of structured English immersion (SEI) methods for teaching English language learners (ELL).
In 1992, some students and parents in the district sued the state, claiming it wasn’t taking "appropriate action" to overcome barriers to ELLs in schools. The state responded with English-immersion techniques. (Thomas Horne is the state school superintendent for public instruction.) Here’s what the high court concluded: "Research on ELL instruction indicates there is documented academic support for the view that SEI is significantly more effective than bilingual education. Findings of the Arizona Department of Education in 2004 strongly support this conclusion."
The Supreme Court also concluded that a lower court had failed to adequately consider whether the Nogales school district’s implementation of SEI was a "changed circumstance" warranting relief.
SEI has proved its superiority to bilingual education wherever it has been implemented. The English-advocacy group ProEnglishfiled a Horne friend-of-the court brief, and it is significant that the ruling cites Arizona data provided by the organization.
In fact, new numbers just released by the Arizona Department of Education estimate that 40,000, or 29 percent, of ELLs enrolled in SEI classes passed the English fluency exam and will transition into mainstream classes this year. That is up from just 17,813 students, or 12 percent, of ELLs who passed the English-fluency exam after being enrolled in bilingual education classes in 2006-07.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Nogales school district is doing exactly what the law requires – taking "appropriate action" through English immersion techniques to teach English to students who grew up speaking another language.
The Supreme Court could have cited many more SEI success stories. Massachusetts, for example, effectively uses English immersion as opposed to bilingual education. The June 7 Boston Globe reported on that state’s top-performing high school graduates – the valedictorians – including a boy from Haiti who arrived in Boston four years ago without knowing a word of English. The paper reported that Edner Paul not only leads his school but won a four-year scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Furthermore, according to the Globe, immigrant students were class valedictorians in 17 of the 42 high schools in Boston – and most arrived a few years ago barely knowing English.
A recent study by the Editorial Projects in Education also spotlights Massachusetts education and chronicles further encouraging news about English learners. Compared to English learners across the country, 36 percent of the state’s ELL students reached a proficient level in English, as opposed to just 16 percent nationwide. If that level of success holds true each year, most kids would learn English quickly enough to be out of special programs in two to three years at most.
Nogales school officials were trying to follow a successful model in spite of a vocal multilingual lobby that seeks to coddle non-English speakers in our classrooms. Yet polls continue to show that more than 90 percent of all Americans view English is the nation’s unifying language – a common tongue that enables job-seeking legal newcomers to participate in the American dream. The Supreme Court couldn’t have sent a clearer signal: Get rid of bilingual education and give English language learners a real opportunity to learn English and succeed.
Mon 29 Jun 2009 08:34
By Bruce Finley for the leftist Denver Post
Stacy Heikes, left, who has lived in Greeley for 26 years, shops at the new East African Store Halal Market in downtown Greeley. Store owner Ahmed Abdi, right, recently opened the store in hope to get customers from the many somalians flocking to meat factory towns like Greeley for jobs. (RJ Sangosti / The Denver Post)
GREELEY — Somali refugees who flocked to jobs in U.S. slaughterhouses — including plants in Greeley and Fort Morgan — are moving beyond cutting floors to Main Street.
"We want to become Americans," said Mohamed Egal, director of the Somali Aid self-help group in Greeley, where more than 700 Somalis live.
They’ve established shops offering imported items. An unmarked mosque in central Greeley offers a place for Muslim worship.
Informal "hawala" money-transfer services help reach relatives stranded in war-torn Somalia and refugee camps in neighboring Kenya. A former burrito restaurant now sells plates of rice, lamb and goat.
And community leaders say dozens more hopeful Somalis arrive each week in Greeley from larger cities such as Minneapolis and Seattle, where federal contractors initially resettle refugees.
The lure: steady $12-an-hour jobs at Brazilian-owned JBS Swift Beef Co. The plant employs more than 300 Somalis, taking advantage of the legally authorized status of refugees accepted from war zones.
This avoids problems associated with unauthorized migrants from Mexico and Central America.
Somalis also are sinking roots in Emporia and Dodge City in Kansas; Grand Island and Norfolk in Nebraska; and Sioux City, Iowa — all towns with slaughterhouses that depend on assembly-line labor.
Mothers "tell our children to follow the rules of Greeley as well as the rules of our religion," said Salado Abdille, 60, who takes an English class in the computer-filled East Africa Community Center along with newcomers from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda and Sudan.
"We want them to graduate from high school, then university," Abdille said. "We want them to work at nice jobs, not the meat plant. Like computer engineering. We want them to be successful."
Somali men find "Greeley is a good place to fit in," said Abdirizak Dahir, 21, a Wells Fargo banker who moved from San Diego. "You do have a lot of setbacks, but a lot of people here have a good heart."
Bridging the gaps
Dahir said he was "going nowhere" in the Somali enclaves of east San Diego. His mother urged him to leave.
He found work at JBS in 2007. Adept in English, he began translating for other refugees.
One day in a Wells Fargo branch, Dahir joked that the bank should hire a Somali because more Somalis were arriving, needing to deposit paychecks.
To his surprise, manager Amanda Dunbar asked him to apply. He worked for a year as a teller, then was promoted.
Wells Fargo hires to match a broadening customer base, said Dunbar, who allows Muslim prayer breaks for Dahir and another Somali employee.
Rising from midday prayers last week at the mosque, Dahir said he deeply appreciated the ability to pray on the job.
"This is our foundation," he said. "We feel empty without it."
And Wells Fargo managers have gained insight into another cultural challenge: Religious beliefs prevent many Somalis from transactions involving interest. "They take debit cards," Dunbar said.
Now, a few use credit cards after bankers explained that no interest would be involved if debts were paid each month.
The shrinking U.S. economy drives the trend of Somalis and other refugees seeking work in slaughterhouses.
"If you earn just $8 an hour, that’s sufficient to support yourself only. You can’t support your relatives in Africa. That’s selfish. You have to support yourself and your family," explained Abdiqadir Jama, 28.
Jama, a former meat-plant trainer, recently opened the Doof Market and said he aspires to become a pharmacist. He and other members of a Somali soccer team are trying to enter a local league.
Yet Maryann Adow, 20, yearns to visit her biological mother, whom she hasn’t seen for 17 years. "It’s really, real ly hard to be alone," Adow said.
When the bus dropped her off two years ago, she dreaded meat-cutting work. So she was glad to become a Wal-Mart cashier — and attend Greeley West High School.
After graduating in May, she plans to apply to a college in Denver, with the goal of being a teacher or family physician.
"I feel like an American. I have freedom," she said. "You can choose your future."
A few bumps along the way
Assimilation issues do exist. Greeley police have held meetings to try to smooth local mixing, although they report no major problems. Spanish- speaking JBS foremen use hand signals to try to bridge language gaps.
And a Somali entrepreneur’s takeover of the Burrito restaurant, a longtime favorite of University of Northern Colorado students, confused customers expecting burritos who found only rice, lamb and goat.
The overall business trend points upward, said Ahmed Abdi, 25, who recently doubled the size of his Eighth Avenue East Africa Halal Market, which he runs with two sisters.
They are especially eager to serve non-Somali customers.
When dental-office manager Stacy Heikes, 58, wheeled her mountain bike in last week to check out clothing, sandals and spices, Abdi handed her a free cup of tea.
Civil-rights complaints investigated
GREELEY — State and federal civil-rights officials are investigating claims that Somali workers at the JBS Swift Beef Co. meatpacking plant were mistreated.
Complaints have been filed with state officials and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said Steve Chavez, director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
Chavez met with Somalis in Greeley last week. He said federal officials are taking the lead on the investigation.
EEOC officials declined to comment.
Concerns surfaced last year after JBS managers refused to let late-shift Somalis pray at sunset during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Workers walked off the job, and more than 100 were fired. Somali workers have since claimed ongoing issues with their Latino supervisors, Chavez said.
"They believe they were treated differently because they were Somalis," he said.
JBS spokesman Chandler Keys said the company has attempted to accommodate religious practices by installing foot washes in locker rooms for foot-cleansing prior to prayer and bidet-type spray devices on toilets to assist with cleansing after using the rest room.
Keys would not discuss the complaints or the investigation. He said company officials "are in discussions" with Somalis regarding Ramadan this year.
"It’s an ongoing, flowing information dialogue that’s going to keep us on our toes in working with these people," he said.
Hispanics vs. Somalis: Greeley getting ready for Round 2
State Department: Possibly tens of thousands of Somalis in the US illegally
The US must bring home the Somali terrorist’s body!
Sun 28 Jun 2009 08:33
At least half a dozen men suspected or convicted of terrorism have been allowed by the U.S. government to keep their federal aviation licenses, including two who appear on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List and a Libyan sentenced to nearly three decades in prison by a Scottish court for the 1980s bombing of an American airliner.
Reported by a major newspaper this week, the appalling story illustrates the government’s never ending incompetence when it comes to national security. This, despite strict antiterrorism measures enacted after the September 2001 terrorist attacks requiring the aviation license revocations of such individuals.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were unaware that the terrorists were actively licensed pilots, mechanics and flight dispatchers until the reporter who wrote the piece started snooping around. Incredibly, neither agency noticed that two of the individuals (Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhima) are wanted by the FBI for the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing.
Others include an Iranian convicted of trying to ship jet fighter parts to Iran and a Lebanese living in Michigan who was convicted for trying to provide military equipment to the Muslim terrorist group Hezbollah. The FAA even reissued the commercial pilot license of a southern California man jailed for trying to send thousands of aircraft parts to Iran and a Maryland man convicted of manufacturing ricin, a powerful poison favored by terrorists.
A little family-owned company in a small New York town discovered the federally licensed terrorists by using software it developed to scour lists of bank customers who might have links to terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security, which supposedly preempts, detects and deters terrorism threats, claims it’s conducting a comprehensive review to see why its system failed to identify these people.
Sat 27 Jun 2009 06:54
If you recognize that Obama failed to vigorously and immediately support the pro-freedom demonstrators in Iran, take a look at his attitude toward those suffering under the Castro dictatorship.
An extraordinary editorial ran in the liberal Washington Post on Thursday, June 25th, about the indifference of the Obama White House to the plight of those who believe in freedom just 90 miles from our shores. The editorial, “A Dissident Deflected,” told the story of how the Obama Administration wouldn’t issue a statement recognizing the plight of five human rights activists in Cuba until the Post itself inquired about the matter.
The five leaders of Cuba’s pro-democracy movement were recipients of the National Endowment for Democracy’s 2009 Democracy Award. It was expected that they would not be allowed by the Castro regime to travel from Cuba to the U.S. to accept their award. But it wasn’t expected, at least by the Post, that the Obama White House would seem unconcerned about their struggle for freedom.
The Post explained, “None were able to travel to Washington. They have been represented here by Bertha Antúnez, sister of Jorge Luis García Pérez. And Ms. Antúnez, an Afro-Cuban who was active in the Rosa Parks movement before she was forced into exile a year ago, has been snubbed by President Obama. Requests that he meet with her went unanswered. Only as the ceremony began did the White House issue a brief statement.”
The paper said that “Mr. Obama’s hastily drafted statement – issued after the The Post inquired about his silence – said he wished ‘to acknowledge and commend” the five dissidents ‘and all the brave men and women who are standing up for the right of the Cuban people to freely determine their country’s future.’”
“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and commend the National Endowment for Democracy’s 2009 Democracy Award recipients Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, Librado Linares, Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, and Iris Tamara Perez Aguilera and all the brave men and women who are standing up for the right of the Cuban people to freely determine their country’s future. Like too many of their fellow citizens, four of these individuals have been unjustly jailed for defending the basic freedoms we all hold dear in the Americas. It is my sincere hope that all political prisoners who remain jailed, including three of today’s award recipients, will be unconditionally released and allowed to fully participate in a democratic future in Cuba.”
As important as the Post editorial was, Jack Otero of the Committee for Free Trade Unionism wrote a letter to the paper noting that the Post failed to highlight a leader of the Cuban independent labor movement by the name of Iván Hernández Carrillo, who is serving a 25-year prison term since his arrest in 2003. Otero said that Hernández Carrillo is imprisoned for the “crime” of organizing unions not beholden to the communist-controlled Cuban Labor Confederation. “The Post should have acknowledged that labor activists in Cuba also risk their lives for freedom,” he said.
This takes on more interest because we recently discovered that a top official of the AFL-CIO, Karen Nussbaum, who spoke at a major “progressive” conference in Washington, D.C., is stonewalling questions about how she traveled to Cuba as a young radical and came away gushing about the Castro dictatorship. She went to Cuba on the Venceremos Brigades organized by Obama’s political associate Bernardine Dohrn, then a member of the communist terrorist Weather Underground.
But the Post editorial raised questions about Obama’s indifference toward Cuban freedom fighters in the context of his treatment of other Latin American Marxists.
The paper commented, “It’s not that the president is too busy to concern himself with Latin American politics. The White House arranged for a Spanish journalist to ask a question at Tuesday’s news conference; reporter Macarena Vidal pressed Mr. Obama on whether U.S. allies such as Chile and Colombia were doing enough to help with ‘less democratic countries.’ The president replied by heaping praise on visiting Chilean President Michele Bachelet, a socialist who has been promoting Cuba’s readmission into the Organization of American States and who has gone out of her way to avoid offending Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez. ‘Chile is leading by example,’ Mr. Obama said, adding that its good relationship with Washington despite political differences ‘points the way for other countries…where the democratic tradition is not as deeply embedded as we’d like it to be.’”
The Post said that the message from Obama to Chávez and the Castro brothers was that “We can work with you” while the message to Cuba’s democratic opposition was “We don’t have time for you.”
This is an extraordinary indictment of Obama from the viewpoint of a liberal newspaper that now recognizes the far-left nature of the President’s policies toward Latin America.
The paper then wondered if the brief Obama statement about the Cuban dissidents would be enough to satisfy the democratic forces opposed to the Communist dictatorship. “We suspect not,” said the paper. “They, like the beleaguered pro-democracy movements of Venezuela and Nicaragua, are hoping that the American president will focus his policy on supporting them. Yet for now, Mr. Obama’s diplomacy is clearly centered on their oppressors.”
The sub-headline for the Post editorial was, “Why doesn’t President Obama have time for Cuba’s pro-democracy opposition?” Considering his failure to immediately and actively express support for the brave freedom fighters in Iran, the answer should be obvious by now. He doesn’t believe in the freedom agenda.
Some of us knew this was coming and predicted it. Unlike most of the media, we had examined the influences behind Obama, such as Communist Frank Marshall Davis, his mentor and father-figure, and understood before the election that this was a candidate who viewed America and the American way of life as the main problems in the world. Obama is truly a revolutionary Marxist who sympathizes not with those being oppressed by anti-American governments but with the governments themselves.
Another example of this attitude can be seen in the UN conference that has been underway in New York, where the Obama Administration is facilitating the work of anti-American crackpot Miguel D’Escoto, the U.N. General Assembly President whose most notable distinctions include being suspended from his priestly duties because of his communist political activities and receiving the Lenin Peace Prize from the old Soviet Union.
By any objective measure, nothing good for America can come out of this conference. The main objective of D’Escoto and his ilk, including Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers, is world government financed by global taxes. They have made it clear that the American people will have to pay the price because we have desecrated “Mother Earth,” as D’Escoto called it.
The Washington Post editorial on Cuba only scratched the surface of the dangers we face from this White House. Ultimately, the question that has to be seriously addressed by the Post and other media is: What should we do about the fact that the President of the United States is allied with those forces that want to bury us?
Sat 27 Jun 2009 06:46
By Jim Kouri
While the news media feverishly cover the untimely death of music icon Michael Jackson and the sex scandal involving a Republican governor in South Carolina, President Barack Obama on Thursday revealed his plans to reform US immigration policy.
During the course of his televised announcement, Obama used the euphemism "undocumented workers" and avoided using the terms "illegal aliens" and "illegal workers."
To be sure, Obama and several powerful lawmakers are on the same page. For example, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called Immigration & Customs Enforcement operations "Un-American," while fellow Democrat Congressman Luis Guttierez called Border Patrol and ICE agents "the Gestapo."
Unfortunately for an America chock full of potential crime victims, not once did the President mention "undocumented criminals" or "criminal aliens" or even any mention of crime committed by thousands and thousands of non-citizen criminals who commit the murders, rapes, robberies and other offenses that American citizens don’t commit.
It’s been widely reported that illegal aliens comprise upwards of 27 percent of the US prison and jail population. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection — two agencies within the Department of Homeland Security — claim in several reports that they’ve apprehended over 100,000 criminal aliens whose offenses go far beyond violation of immigration laws and regulations.
Sadly, only about 25 percent of expenses for imprisoning criminal aliens is reimbursed by the federal government to state and local governments. This creates a hardship for taxpayers in states with high incarceration rates for criminal aliens. In some states, there’s even talk of releasing criminal aliens without notifying the federal authorities.
In Los Angeles, according to police reports, 95 percent of the arrest warrants for homicides are for illegal aliens. Sixty-five percent of overall warrants are for "undocumented criminals."
The proponents of open borders or lax immigration enforcement always point to the benefits derived from illegal immigration such as the amount of taxes they pay into the government system. Evidence, however, exists that refutes those claims. For instance, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence that suggests a large number of illegal aliens are paid "off-the-books" therefore those wages are not taxed.
The National Research Council has estimated that the net fiscal cost of immigration ranges from $11 billion to $22 billion per year, with most government expenditures on immigrants coming from state and local coffers, while most taxes paid by immigrants who actually do pay taxes go to the federal treasury.
The net deficit is caused by a low level of tax payments by immigrants, because they are disproportionately low-skilled and thus earn low wages, and a higher rate of consumption of government services, both because of their relative poverty and their higher fertility.
This is especially true of illegal immigration. Even though illegal aliens make little use of welfare, from which they are generally barred, the costs of illegal immigration in terms of government expenditures for education, criminal justice, and emergency medical care are significant. And those who managed to steal the identities of American citizens do in fact apply for welfare including food stamps.
Californian officials have estimated that the net cost to taxpayers in order to provide government services to illegal immigrants approached $3 billion during a single fiscal year. And even that figure is suspected of being low-balled for political purposes. The fact that states must bear the cost of federal failure turns illegal immigration, in effect, into one of the largest unfunded federal mandates existing today.
In addition, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, even with free trade, the United States continues to enjoy a higher real wage than other nations, due to the superiority of US technology. If taken to an extreme and the US removed all barriers to migration, most foreign workers would move to the United States, lured by the higher wages available here; Foreign labor would essentially cease to exist.
However, with all labor now in the United States, the prices of goods would return to their level of self-sufficiency, prior to the opening of trade. That is, perfectly free migration entirely eliminates the gains from trade that US natives had enjoyed. World income rose with the migration, but the natives of foreign countries in this case received more than all of this rise, since the income of US natives declined. With the world’s majority of low-wage workers in the US, there would be tremendous damage to free trade and its benefits, with US middle and upper-middle class workers suffering the brunt of declining wages.
The urge for a utopian state of existence and a desire to make all things equal by the American Left has given way to a desire simply to make all things equal sans utopia. In their passion for a neo-Marxist level for the masses, they’ve decided consciously or subconsciously that if they could not bring the World’s population up to the American level of prosperity and wealth, then they will bring US citizens down to the World’s level of poverty and misery. For this is a result of seeing free trade as a zero-sum entity, and self-alienation of the American Left from their own country, the USA.
The problem isn’t about the need for new laws; the problem is about the lack of enforcement of existing laws. The US Constitution provides the executive branch with a number of inherent powers such as the enforcement of immigration laws.
The Constitution also mandates that the President protect American sovereignty and the American people. That is the number one priority for our government — of it should be. And congress is mandated to provide domestic tranquility for Americans. Criminal alien gangbangers do not add to our domestic tranquility.
Why is it suddenly necessary for congress to pass laws on illegal immigration when we haven’t been enforcing the laws that already exist. The executive branch has the power to add border agents, equipment and other resources. The President has the power to use the military if necessary to enhance border protection. Passing laws is an easy, painless process. The trick is to enforce those laws.
The University of Texas at El Paso recently conducted a study that found the following: Treating illegal immigrants in hospitals accounts for nearly one quarter of the uncompensated costs at border county hospitals in Cochise County. That county in Arizona spends tens of thousands of dollars just picking up trash left at campsites by these illegals. Prosecuting and jailing illegals costs this county an additional $5 million a year. And 25 percent of Cochise County’s budget is paid for health care for the uninsured, the majority of whom are illegally in the country.
In another study of a sample group of 55,000 criminal aliens, it was discovered they accounted for over 400,000 arrests and more than 700,000 criminal acts including felonies. Americans are being hoodwinked by politicians who are squandering the legacy of future American citizens in the name of charity. And the blood of citizens killed, brutalized and raped by de facto invaders is on the hands of our elected leaders.
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